"It's All About The Game"
Young Determines Vermont is Best Fit
Ron Bailey, Publisher
September 18, 2007 – Garvey Young, the 6’4”, 190 pound senior all-court performer at Georgetown Prep (MD), has decided Mike Lonergan’s Vermont Catamount program will be his future home.
Why did he choose that school of over 10,000 students based in Burlington, VT? “It was the best fit” responded Garvey’s dad, John Young. Being the best fit in the Young family centers first upon academic factors first, followed then by athletic, social and recruiting concerns.
“You shouldn’t be surprised to know that overall athletes on campus are doing better than other students” stated John, of Vermont’s academic support focus, before later adding “We visited, BC, Virginia Tech; they (Vermont) are offering the same kind of stuff. The school has academic advisors just for basketball. The professors are providing them with a report on the kids every two weeks”.
Resultantly, Young shared “Vermont has won the American East Conference’s academic championship the last three years”. Lonergan has displayed similar scholastic concern at a greater than a decade long stint leading Catholic University, where he graduated a reported 100% of his players.
Regarding hoops, Vermont again prevailed in Garvey’s eyes, since the school, as academically, compared favorably with other institutions on his list, including William and Mary, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, Colgate, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Lehigh, UMBC, Air Force, Loyola (MD), and Holy Cross.
Garvey Young (right), last year for Georgetown Prep.
“They have a freshman guard, a sophomore guard, two junior guards, and two senior guards” presently on the roster analyzed the Young family’s patriarch. “His freshman year, they’ll have four guards” he continued, with each subsequent year set up for Garvey, who will probably play both guard positions and even some small forward for the Catamounts, to assume an increasingly larger role.
In terms of frontcourt players, John shared presently, Vermont boasts “a sophomore forward and a senior forward” in addition to “a 6’10” freshman, 6’8” freshman , 6’10” freshman, 6’9” freshman, and a couple of junior big men”.
All of this, in the Young family’s opinion, will provide Garvey “A chance to play early, a chance to play a lot, a chance to make a mark in the league, and a chance to get to the Big Dance”. The last point has been proven by both Lonergan and his predecessor, Tom Brennan, as according to Young, the program “has been in or close to the tournament the last five years” including a National Invitational Tournament bid in 2006-2007 – Lonergan’s second at the school, in which he was tabbed the America East Conference’s Coach of the Year.
Many would surmise a native of Washington, D.C. such as Garvey would find Burlington, VT, a small town of around 40,000 residents rather inhospitable, particularly when his African-American heritage and the town and school’s relative lack of diversity are considered.
Garvey Young and John Young, last year.
Not so, says John, as in his family’s opinion, “The size of the school – it’s a mid-sized school with a small college feel” is desirable, but the institution also boasts “big college benefits”, including being bolstered by a small, hyper-supportive community, helping to create a college town flavor. That dynamic is, according to Young, accentuated by the school’s cosmopolitan tone (reportedly 70% of the student body are from out of state).
In terms of diversity, Young shared the school’s president, Daniel Mark Fogel, is highly committed to that idea, having “done some big things” as executive vice chancellor and provost at Louisiana State University. Fogel’s work at that institution included orchestrating programs that more than doubled the number of African-American graduate students there, resulting in LSU presently leading America in graduating Black doctorate graduates in English literature and language, along with chemistry.
“He’s bringing that same type of commitment” to Vermont opined Young, and the facts buttress his position, as according to www.uvm.edu, “a 63 percent increase in applications from prospective students who are African American, Asian American, Latino, or Native American”, amongst other initiatives, was realized in 2006.
During Garvey’s recruitment process, Vermont’s staff impressed the Young family, as John relayed “Vermont would have three four guys at the game” instead of a singular, intermittent assistant. In fact, during Charlie Weber's Easter Hoop Fest, “the whole coaching staff” was present, recounted Young.
Garvey (left) here at the Easter Hoop Fest, can scored, defend, and pass, while remaining coachable. Vermont's staff hopes he can serve as a beacon for more D.C. area kids.
A D.C. native himself, John was able to ask around at the grassroots level regarding Lonergan, who is also a Washingtonian, having graduated from the city’s Archbishop Carroll High School. “He knew people I grew up with” noted Young. “People I’ve know for a long time vouched for him. They said he’s a good dude…He’s going to take care of him”.
“Selfishly I’d like for him to be somewhere around three hours away” thereby facilitating easy game attendance, “but it’s not up to me” said John of his son’s decision to attend school 520 miles to the north. The family, including Garvey’s mother Felicia and sister Camille plan to see Garvey play as much as possible. That effort is facilitated of course by “not having to pay room books, tuition”, joked John, and as such they “can travel and seem him”. Additionally Lonergan’s attempt to schedule as many games as possible in the DC area (faacilitating recruiting and personal ties), will also allow the family to see Garvey compete.
The ease in which the family can see him play notwithstanding, John Young has no regrets with his son’s decision to attend Vermont, starting next year. “Felicia and I, we agreed it was his decision. It needed to be his, and whatever it was, we would support it” stated John. “He’s always made good decisions, and he’s made another one”.
Congratulations go out to Garvey Young and family. A good choice, based
upon the right reasons, seems to have been made.
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